By Linda Baskin
From "Chicken Soup for the Soul: True Love"
"Sometimes new love comes between old friends. Sometimes the best love was the one that was always there." - Author Unknown
I am not one of those people. You know the ones who have houses full of "treasures." The people who cannot get rid of anything. A napkin, a ticket stub, a crumpled up old leaf. Some people call it junk, but to the person who owns it, it holds value because of the memory attached to it. I admit I do have one of those items. It is small and simple but oh so important to me. It measures only two inches by three inches and contains one little three-letter word. It's not a romantic word, and anyone reading it would surely wonder what it meant. What is the word? Well, I think I should start at the beginning ...
I grew up like many other little girls dreaming of my big wedding day with visions of my Prince Charming dancing in my head. I even wrote one of those lists. Oh, admit it; you know the list. The list of all the traits of that wonderful person you would surely one day meet. A sense of humor, romantic, blue eyes. I've always been a sucker for blue eyes. But somehow, in my 20s, that list was forgotten. The guys I dated were promising, but then the real frog would emerge and it would become evident they were certainly not my Prince Charming. And so I began what would be a long journey of disappointment in love.
By the time I reached my 30s, still single, I wrote off those dreams as the whimsical ponderings of a little girl. I chose a different route and decided to become self-sufficient so no man would be required. It just would be easier. I often would be heard saying things like, "It is so great to be single and do whatever I want" or "I just don't have time to date with my busy schedule." I wonder if I ever actually convinced anyone.
So men became my friends. It seemed perfect. And guess what? I found out guys could be really great friends when I wasn't expecting anything from them. I became really good friends with one man. A fellow single 30-something-year-old. We talked and laughed and swapped dating disaster stories. It put a lot in perspective! It was a perfect friendship. But then the inevitable happened when a single man and woman are friends. We've all analyzed the "When Harry Met Sally" movie and know the risks. And so it happened to us.
It was a lovely day in May, and we were out golfing together. We were doing the usual talking and laughing, but then it changed. The teasing took on a new tone and sounded more like flirting. The casual hugs lingered a bit longer. It was a magical out-of-control day. The unwritten rules were being seriously disobeyed. But we couldn't have cared less. Or so I thought.
When I got home that night and was alone, the freak-out set in. I was an expert on freaking out because I spent most of my adult life doing that. Overanalyzing every conversation with every man I ever dated. I would ask my girlfriends, "What do you think he meant when he said I'll call you later?" "Do you think he was trying to make me jealous?" "Do you think I should call him?" And on it would go.
But this time it was different because I really knew this man. This wasn't some guy I could just ignore and eventually he'd go away.
This was my dear friend. And he really knew me too. The real me. Then insecurity decided to pay a visit with its comments. "You were imagining it. He doesn't really want you that way." Maybe I was making something out of nothing. I was so, so scared of falling in love and getting hurt again. And he knew that. Why is it all so complicated? I went to bed with this whirlwind of emotion in my head and heart.
The next day at work I went to open my e-mail with a good solid mix of excitement and fear. What would he say? Would he suggest getting together for "the talk"? I went to my inbox and cautiously hit enter and ... Empty. Great. Now what?
Within an hour, I had a delivery of beautiful flowers. In the envelope was a small piece of paper. It had one little word on it. My heart melted and every insecure thought and fear fled. With just one word this man knew me well enough to express to me his love and understanding. His understanding of my fear of love. He won my heart and everything became crystal clear with that one silly word: "Boo!"
The rest of our story is magically simple. I fell in love with him with no fear. There were no hurts or disappointments. I found out how love should be. It was so easy. It was just meant to be.
We have been married almost six years now. I still adore this man. Our love is simple and pure and good. It is so much more than that little girl could have ever imagined. Oh, yes, and by the way, he does have beautiful blue eyes.